SAN ANTONIO (CelebrityAccess) — On Tuesday, America’s largest commercial radio conglomerate iHeartMedia announced a major restructuring of its business, amid reports of widespread layoffs.
In a statement released on Tuesday, iHeartMedia said it had created “a new organizational structure for its Markets Group as it modernizes the company to take advantage of the significant investments it has made in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) and its unique scale and leadership position in the audio marketplace.”
According to iHeart, the new structure will enable the company to “maximize the performance of each of its markets” and as a consequence, the overall performance of the company.
iHeart cited “significant technology investments” in everything from how it sells advertising to how it uses data across its terrestrial and digital media platforms.
Following the reordering, iHeartMedia Markets Group will continue to be led by Greg Ashlock, President of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.
Following the shakeup, the Markets Group will be compromised of:
The Region Division, which includes the largest radio markets, like New York and Los Angeles. The Region Division will be led by Division Presidents Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopeck.
The Metro Division, which encompasses large markets that don’t quite rise to the level of a “regional hub.” The Metro Division will be led by Division Presidents Tom McConnell, Tony Coles, and Linda Byrd.
The Community Division, which will focus on one community and trading area for most businesses and advertisers and will also group markets into areas that are geographically close and culturally similar. The Community Division will be led by Division Presidents Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau and Dan Lankford.
Additionally, the company is creating a new Division — the Multi-Market Partnerships (MMP) Division headed by Julie Donohue, who is elevated to President of MMP with responsibility for this business.
As a part of the business unit shuffle, the company’s Integrated Revenue Strategies group, led by President Hartley Adkins, will be merged into the iHeartMedia Markets Group and Adkins will become Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Markets Group working closely with Greg Ashlock.
However, the reorganization also appears to include a culling of staff, both on-air and production. While the scale of the cutbacks are unclear, one former host, who declined to share a name, told Rolling Stone that the layoffs included as many as 850 people.
Radio DJS who have been released include WBBS morning host Daryl Ledyard, and a source told Cleveland.com that the local top 40 station 96.5 KISS FM had laid off most of their on-air staff.
While the full extent of the layoffs are unclear, it is likely to be extensive. iHeart has also removed all employee bio pages from its stations’ websites, making it difficult to externally track staffing changes.
“Any smaller to medium market in the country lost, in all likelihood, most, if not all, of their on-air staff,” a former on-air personality told Rolling Stone. “As far as the music stations go, there’s not a single local talent [left]. I heard they’re gonna go with their national music logs across the board.”